Obama: U.S. and Israel in ‘lockstep’ on Iran

WASHINGTON (JTA) – President Obama said Israel and the United States will work in "lockstep" to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

In a pre-Super Bowl interview Sunday on NBC, Obama discounted reports that Israel was getting ready to strike Iran.

"I don’t think that Israel has made a decision on what they need to do," he said.

Asked if Israel would give him advance warning of a strike, Obama said he would not go into details of conversations, but added that "we have closer military and intelligence consultation between our two countries than we ever have."

The president continued: "And my No. 1 priority continues to be the security of the United States, but also the security of Israel and we are going to make sure that we work in lockstep as we proceed to try to solve this, hopefully diplomatically."

Obama downplayed reports of an Iranian attack on U.S. soil and said a military confrontation would be destabilizing.

"Obviously, any kind of additional military activity inside the Gulf is disruptive and has a big effect on us, it can have a big effect on oil prices," he said. "We’ve still got troops in Afghanistan, which borders Iran. And so our preferred solution here is diplomatic; we’re going to keep on pushing  on that front."

Obama repeated, however, that "we’re not going to take any option off the table."

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